I am medical professional with a Doctorate in Medicine (MD), as well as two Bachelor's Degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology from the University of California Riverside. At UC Riverside, while earning two degrees in two different colleges, the sciences and the humanities, I completed wide and extensive coursework in sciences and humanities/social sciences. Some examples of coursework included biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, physics, neuroscience, psychology, religious studies, Spanish, anatomy and physiology.
As a a long-time academic, student, and tutor, I have the experience both as a student and a teacher to help my students succeed. I have extensive knowledge of test preparation and testing strategies, as well as strong subject knowledge in a variety of maths, sciences, and humanities. I am an experienced tutor, I started out teaching at my university Learning Resource Center, and now having been working with students privately for the past 10 years as I completed my own undergraduate and medical education. I have had to prepare for many standardized exams over my academic career, and I know what is required. Moreover, I have the organizational skills and attention to detail to create and implement effective study plans. Based on my years of experience, my students achieve high scores. I am dedicated to my students and view their success as my success, and I am not someone who accepts failure easily. I am flexible in devising lesson plans, and often like to let my students guide the session to individualize it for their needs and to maximize their benefit. I also like to use frequent practice tests, to gauge learning and to identify areas for further work. Once these areas are identified I develop a thorough plan of attack.
Again, I have experience tutoring for many years, working with students from junior high school level through professional and graduate school level in subjects that include a variety of sciences, mathematics, social sciences, Spanish, and standardized exam preparation. I have experience in privately tutoring standardized exam preparation including MCAT, DAT, PCAT, GRE, SAT, and USMLE. I have personally sat for the SAT, MCAT, many NBME exams, and USMLE Steps 1, 2CK, and 2CS. I also speak Spanish and have worked with students whose primary language was Spanish.
I very much enjoy teaching and find it to be some of the most rewarding work. I believe my experience both as a student and tutor, my creative teaching methods, and my planning and organizational skills make me a great teacher. I am excited about the possibility of working with you.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Riverside - Bachelors, Biological Sciences / Psychology
Graduate Degree: American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine - PHD, Medicine
Traveling (extensive including Europe, Japan, India, Caribbean, and more), cooking, art, world cultures, history, music, hiking, time with family and friends.
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
11th Grade Math
11th Grade Reading
12th Grade Math
12th Grade Reading
Anatomy & Physiology
AP US Government
AP US History
MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
CLEP American Government
CLEP College Algebra
CLEP College Mathematics
CLEP History of the United States I
CLEP History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present
CLEP Human Growth and Development
CLEP Introductory Psychology
CLEP Introductory Sociology
CLEP Natural Sciences
CLEP Principles of Microeconomics
CLEP Social Sciences and History
CLEP Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648
College World History
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School World History
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in motivating students and empowering them with the tools to succeed. I like to start by identifying areas for improvement using practice tests and by having the student explain what areas are particularly difficult. Then, I like to develop a detailed and thorough plan of attack, working together with my student. I often let my student lead the session to maximize individual benefit. I use practice questions and practice tests often to gauge learning, improvement, and areas that need further work. I always work with the student as a team, and always ensure goals are clear. It is important to have clear and reasonable goals to work towards. I very often have the student teach the material back to me and ask the student questions about the subject, both as a way to gauge learning and as a way to solidify it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Before the session, I have the student take a practice test and bring it in for me to analyze. In a first session, I will have my student identify all areas of difficulty as well as clarify goals for sessions together (both long-term and short-term). If there are any exams coming up, I need to know. Then, I have the student go over the practice test with me. Finally, the student and I create a detailed plan of attack together and set reasonable short-term and long-term goals to work towards. At the end of the session, we discuss the independent study that the student will complete prior to our next session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
1) Teach concepts that can the student can practice and generalize at home 2) Work together as an equal partnership, developing a plan and goals. 3) Motivate the student to be in control of his/her own learning and academic success. 4) Set clear goals and expectations. The student should clearly know work is to be completed at home prior to the next session 5) Take the stress, frustration and negative feelings out of learning. Break concepts down, and make them easy to digest and with many visual aids. This often helps to motivate a student to learn on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Setting reasonable goals and working towards the goals. Setting a clear schedule, and organized plan. Making sure the student is an equal partner.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
1) I would break down the concept into smaller and smaller pieces. 2) I would use visual aids and real life examples to help the student grasp the concept. 3) Repetition. 4) Have the student teach it to me.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
1) teach it back to me 2) ask him/her questions about the material 3) practice questions/tests
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Textbook, study guides (these books are much easier to understand and learn from), whiteboard, visual aids (often on computer or hand-drawn), paper and pencil. For chemistry, I use models.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
1) Identify areas to focus on based on recent performance, student self-reflection, and a practice test I ask the student to complete before our first session 2) Make a detailed and organized plan of attack for the next several sessions 3) Continual re-assessment using practice questions, practice tests and asking the student to teach concepts back to me. This will help me to gauge learning and to identify areas for further improvement 4) Plan independent/at home study for the student to complete in between sessions 5) Teach general techniques as well as specific concepts 6) Have the student in charge of their own learning as an equal partner. Teach the student to continually assess their own academic development/improvement
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
1) Break it down into manageable pieces 2) Make it fun using creative teaching methods and take the stress out of it 3) Help the student gain a better understanding of the subject, this will make it more interesting 4) Make the subject relevant to real life
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I teach students strategies: look for the main idea, don't focus on details, paraphrase, summarize, look at passage structure, and make small notes about the theme of each paragraph. We do many practice problems together; that's the way to improve skills-- practice.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By helping the student understand the material and then perform well on practice problems. When they see they can do it, their confidence will grow.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I give a diagnostic test to see what areas are stronger and what areas need more work. If this is for a class, I ask for the class syllabus and materials. If this is for a standardized exam, I help students set a target score to work towards.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Continual diagnostic tests to gauge improvement versus areas for further focus. I let the student lead the session at times. I ask the student to bring in difficult questions or concepts that I can explain.